I just opened my Bible study. I was hoping to spend about thirty to forty-five minutes preparing for my Wednesday meeting with the battalion, but I only got to the end of the first page when I read these questions:
What is the biggest transition you’re going through right now?
Does it feel like you’re moving from captivity to freedom,
or does your transition seem to be leading you to a more confining place?
Now would you look at that? Seems like a pretty benign question, doesn’t it? But you know, it cut right through some baggage I’ve been carrying around and provided a moment of clarity. And I haven’t event opened my Bible yet!
The battalion and I met for the first time after our summer break about ten days ago to start our journey through Lisa Harper’s study called Malachi: a love that never lets go. Harper paints a picture of the Israelites at the time that Malachi wrote as similar to Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind — not ball-ready Scarlett, but Scarlett returning from Atlanta to find Tara a hot mess in the wake of the Civil War. Harper says that, like Scarlett, the Israelites are raising their fists to God in anger and indignation, “How could you let this happen?”
Well, I am certainly not there. Oh, I have been. Trust me. If this is not your first time reading this blog, you know my history of raising my fist to God and even turning my back on Him. But, folks, I am — thankfully — not in that place at the moment.
In fact, this whole blog has been about my journey past that time of soldiering self-righteousness into a season of resting in His provision, His goodness, His faithfulness. I’ve gone on and on about our little house by the river, sitting on the couch, working fewer hours, spending time with my husband, going to the gym, swimming in the warm salt water pool. You have to be getting sick of hearing about this time of refreshing!
Well, I’ve got a confession to make. I’ve been having a hard time sleeping. I’m worrying. I’m not resting.
Ok, I am resting. I am enjoying a much lighter work schedule. I am experiencing a slight improvement in my health thanks to the lessened stress and some new medical interventions. The nest is empty again. We are enjoying ourselves.
But I lie awake at night stewing and fussing.
Why? Well, to avoid over-sharing let me just say — finances. Leaving my full-time position and enduring a constant stream of medical charges has caused a change in our financial situation — at least from my perspective. I get myself pretty charged up about how we are going to recover financially — I lie awake shifting this account and that account; I picture paying off this bill and that bill. I get myself convinced again that it is job my to resolve this situation.
I am going to pause here to let you shake your head for a few moments.
Those few little questions at the bottom of Lisa Harper’s page jolted me. Do I feel like I am moving from captivity to freedom? Or do I like the feeling of captivity so much that I want to keep picturing myself there? Just when I have been freed from my doing and soldiering and butt-kicking to rest in my little house by the river, I want to find some other battle to fight. My last blog post was about repenting, resting, and re-setting for goodness’ sake.
Last Saturday I stood in the front of a classroom and showed a group of ladies how I had been walking in one direction and God had physically picked me up and turned me around to go in a different one. I shared the relief and the new opportunities that this turning has given me, but I was not acknowledging that in the wee hours of the night I have been looking over my shoulder trying to see if that other way is actually the answer.
Go ahead, shake your head some more. I am.
So, let me put it in print so that I don’t forget. God brought us to this place. He will provide for all of our needs. He always has; He always will. It might not make sense on paper. I might not have all the answers. However, our God who created the earth, who clothes the lilies of the field, who numbers the hairs on our heads, does have all the answers. He has worked out our finances. He has said to me, “Be still, Kristin, I’ve got this.” I feel like He has to say it over, and over, and over again.
But this morning, I hear Him. So, I’ll just be over here chilling in my little house by the river.
Matthew 6: 30-31
But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’